If there is one thing a pregnant woman knows how to do well, it is worry. Women going through their pregnancies with the added stress of gestational diabetes can sometimes feel this even more so. There are so many questions, worries, and added concerns to think about. One common question about gestational diabetes is how or if it will affect you and your child after the baby is born.
Understanding Gestational Diabetes
The first thing to consider when answering this question is to understand what gestational diabetes is. Gestational diabetes is, in its simplest form, high blood sugar during pregnancy. Basically, hormones in your body cause the pancreas to produce extra insulin, but the insulin produced does not help to lower your glucose levels as it is supposed to do.
Gestational diabetes is special because it is specific to pregnancy. Women who have gestational diabetes typically only have diabetes during their pregnancy. While all pregnant women are tested for gestational diabetes, very few women actually end up testing positive, for it is fairly rare.
What causes gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is ultimately caused by an increase of hormones. Insulin, itself, is a hormone that is supposed to help turn glucose into energy in your body. The multitude of changes that your body goes through during pregnancy can cause quite a few strange occurrences. With gestational diabetes, these changes cause your body to react differently to insulin.
There are some other factors that can contribute to the likelihood of getting gestational diabetes, but they are by no means the cause. These can include being overweight before pregnancy, gaining too much weight very quickly during your pregnancy, and having a family history of diabetes, among many others.
Again, none of these factors causes gestational diabetes, but they can be factors that can slightly increase the likelihood. There is nothing that you, as a mother, could have done to cause yourself to get gestational diabetes. It is important that you never blame yourself for something that truly comes down to chance. Women of all shapes and sizes, backgrounds, and health profiles get gestational diabetes.
Once your child has been delivered, there is a very high chance that the condition will go away by itself. Most women, around 90% actually, go right back to normal after delivery. A very small percentage of women, around 2%, continue to have issue with diabetes directly after birth. Despite this low occurrence, your physician will still monitor your progress during your after care.
One important thing to know is that having gestational diabetes does seem to have a higher correlation with contracting type 2 diabetes later in life. So it is important, as ever, to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Children born from gestational diabetes mothers live normal, healthy lives. The biggest issue that can affect your baby is high birth weight if your condition is not monitored and treated accordingly. There is a small increased occurrence of obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life for these children, but again that can be combated by teaching your child healthy diet and lifestyle choices.
Overall, there is a small chance that gestational diabetes could affect you and/or your baby after birth, but those chances are very small. Not only are those chances very small, but they can also be combated by living a healthy life, which you are likely to do anyway for the best health of you and your family. So you really have very little to worry about when it comes to how gestational diabetes will affect your future. Click here to learn more about gestational diabetes.